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Accused Pedophile Will Await Retrial in Jail

WASHINGTON (CN) - A man accused of setting up a sexual rendezvous with a 3-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl through an undercover D.C. police officer won't be released from prison while he awaits his retrial.

A jury convicted Hite in 2012 on two counts of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, and he was sentenced to 22 years with a $500,000 fine. Hite appealed and the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the conviction and remanded the case for a new trial on the grounds that the jury instruction failed to accurately state the elements of the statute used to convict him.

Hite moved to be released, arguing that a federal judge allowed him to be released prior to his first trial and that he poses no risk to skip town, but U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied the motion, stating that Hite has failed to meet the burden of establishing that he won't flee.

"Indeed, the crux of Dr. Hite's argument appears to be that his conviction has been reversed and the matter may be remanded for a new trial barring further appeal," the judge states. "However, 'the mere prospect of a new trial is not enough, by itself, to constitute an "exceptional reason" under 18 U.S.C. § 3143.' As an additional basis for its ruling, the Court finds that Dr. Hite has failed to point to exceptional reasons demonstrating that his detention is inappropriate at this time."

Two years ago, Hite tried to argue that his speech between himself and the cop was protected, but Judge Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the constitutional claim as flimsy.

According to the ruling, a D.C. police officer using the moniker "JP" spoke with Hite several times in a chat room on a social networking site and via telephone, engaging in a series of sexually explicit conversations regarding JP's 3-year-old nephew and his girlfriend's 12-year-old daughter.

"The parties discussed meeting in person to engage in sexual activity with both the 3-year old and 12-year old," Kollar-Kotelly's 2012 ruling states.

The men agreed to meet one weekend, but Hite became wary and backed out. He was arrested and charged anyway.

After his appellate win, Hite tried to invoke U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth's approval that he be released prior to his trial, but Kollar-Kotelly notes that he was just a defendant facing trial back then.

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